Five Bits Of Advice For A Sane Work-At-Home-Mom Experience

Article by Carl Orlafski

Working from home is a mother’s dream come true. No more need to panic when a child is sick or has a day off from school. If you’re a tad late in the morning, no one cares. If working overtime comes to pass, no worry. All together working from home is a pretty neat thing to do.

Then there’s that little thing called reality. One of the first things I learned when I started working from home was that summer, when all of my kids were home during the day and didn’t want to be (home, that is), was a whole new adventure. Suddenly I couldn’t just drop them off at the sitter’s and enjoy eight quiet, blissful, uninterrupted hours to concentrate on what I had to do. Instead, I was filling sippy cups, restarting cartoons and dragging my laptop to the park…and Chuck E. Cheese…and Funland…and any other place I could think of that would keep them entertained for more than half an hour so I could put a dent in my to-do list.

You think you can work after the little darlings have gone to bed for the night? Think again. By their bedtime, once you have done the dishes and straightened up the house a bit, you are dog tired and ready for bed yourself. It’s enough to drive a sane mom nuts. To save your sanity, I offer the five following pieces of advice.

1) Get up before the kids do and get your email out of the way. Then ignore it until lunch. I’m always astonished by the amount of time I spend each day dealing with email and answering messages. Equally as astonishing is the way I can’t see straight before 7 am. This is prime time for me to update my social media sites, answer my email, read the day’s blogs and knock a few items off my to-do list while I ease into the day.

2) Eat Breakfast with your kids for your first break of the day. The main problem with kids underfoot while you are trying to do your work is their lack of concentration inhibits yours. You need to spend time with the kids during the day and do your work in between “kid times.” Play for an hour or so, go back to work, eat lunch with the kids, go back to work and so forth throughout the day. This strikes a good balance for you, your work and your kids.

3) Never rule out calling in a babysitter when you have deadlines fast approaching. Hiring a babysitter to watch your kids while you are at home may seem counterproductive, but if you are feeling a time crunch and the little brats won’t leave you alone no matter what, it’s time to hire one. Even better, send them off to a little friends for a play day. I’ll bet you have friends with kids that would love to swap baby sitting duties with you. If you don’t, go find some.

4) If you are lucky enough to afford time off for a vacation, leave your lap top at home. You will have to work many months before you feel you can take a family vacation, but when you can, make it a real vacation and leave all your work home. This is the time for fun with your family and some much needed R and R for all of you. The kids will be delighted that at long last they have your undivided attention, will resent your work less and it will give everybody a breather before the next inevitable onslaught of the work day routine.

5) Keep scheduled work hours. Children do much better with a schedule that is followed religiously, or at least somewhat religiously. If you are able to inform them that in one hour we will go to the park and have a picnic, do that in one hour. They will cooperate with you and leave you alone until that hour comes, making the day far more pleasant for all of you. Work at home success is what you were after in the first place. These brief tips will help you get there.

Carl has been in the capital revenue business for over a decade both as a student of the game and a teacher of others.

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